When a lot of us think of December we think about all of the celebrations that happen during the month. A few of these are Christmas, Hanukkah and Ramadan. Many people equate these holidays with joy and a time of being with family and loved ones. But for many this time of year can trigger sadness and increased depression. There is an expectation for everyone to want to spread good cheer and give more than they receive. There are a lot of factors that can cause these feelings of hopelessness and depression:
- SAD – Seasonal Affective Disorder can happen year round but typically affects those during the fall and winter months. The shorter days and colder months tend to just zap all of your energy and can increase depression. The “winter blues” are real and shouldn’t be dismissed or taken lightly. A lot of times treatment can include light therapy, medication or counseling. Since I work overnights I feel like I get about an hour of sunlight a day! Light therapy has made a huge difference in my mood.
- Finances – A lot of times you might get caught up trying to keep up with The Joneses and you want to make sure your kids or family have everything they want. But the stress of not being able to provide if finances are tight can make you feel like you’re letting people down.
- Stress – Trying to make sure you’ve got the perfect gifts, house is ready for family, dinner for 20 is taken care of…that’s a lot of crap to deal with!
- People Pleaser – Putting yourself last and making sure everyone else’s needs are met can also wear you down.